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Murder Charge Filed in Death of Can Recycler

September 09, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

A man accused of running over a 65-year-old after stealing his bag of aluminum cans at a Canoga Park recycling center was charged Wednesday with murder.

Anthony Gary Rivota, 41, also was charged with hit and run, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Rivota pleaded not guilty and was held in lieu of $1-million bail.

He is accused of killing Sheng Zhang on Saturday at the Green Earth Recycling Center on De Soto Avenue, authorities said.

Authorities said Zhang and his wife were outside the center about 8:30 a.m. with a bag of empty cans when Rivota snatched the sack, put it in his van and started to drive away.

Zhang grabbed and hung onto the rearview mirror on the driver's side as the van pulled away but lost hold and was run over, authorities said.

He died several hours later at a hospital.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Rivota could face 19 years to life in prison, authorities said.

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